An international grand committee comprising of 22 representatives from as many as 7 parliaments, will convene in London next week, and question Facebook regarding the fake news crisis and the data misuse scandals. The scale and complexity of this investigation is rather unprecedented, and Facebook can expect some serious heat when grilled by this commission.
However, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg won’t be the one taking the blame, or the questions. Instead, Richard Allan, Facebook’s VP of policy solutions will be facing the panel and its questions.
The committee will consist of members form the parliaments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Latvia, Singapore, along with members of the UK’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) parliamentary committee.
Speaking on the topic with TechCrunch, a spokeswoman for the DCMS committee said:
The Committee offered the opportunity for him to give evidence over video link, which was also refused. Facebook has offered Richard Allan, vice president of policy solutions, which the Committee has accepted.
The Committee still believes that Mark Zuckerberg is the appropriate person to answer important questions about data privacy, safety, security and sharing. The recent New York Times investigation raises further questions about how recent data breaches were allegedly dealt with within Facebook, and when the senior leadership team became aware of the breaches and the spread of Russian disinformation.
Australia won’t be joining this effort to pin Facebook down, citing travel issues. The 22 representatives will start questioning Allan at 11.30am (GMT) on November 27 in Westminster. The full session will be streamed live on the UK’s parliament.tv website. The session will be followed by a press conference in which members from each of the parliaments will sign a set of principles that they hope, will help guide the future of the Internet.
The session will also collect evidence from various others, including UK’s information commissioner Elizabeth Denham, Deputy information commissioner Steve Wood; the former Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Rt Hon Dr Denzil L Douglas (on account of Cambridge Analytica/SCL Elections having done work in the region); and the co-founder of PersonalData.IO, Paul-Olivier Dehaye.